Everton held preliminary talks on selling its minority stake in the club to US investment firm MSP Sports Capital.
The company’s executives attended the last Premier League game between Everton and Southampton at Goodison Park. A much-needed cash investment is high on the agenda to provide invaluable support for the £500m stadium at Bramley-Moore Wharf.
Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri reiterated this week that he plans to sell a stake in the club and turned down suggestions that he was determined to complete the entire sale.
The novelty of interviews with American entrepreneurs confirms that this is the strategy. Moshiri appears to have met with several interested parties as well as the MSP.
MSP was founded by former sports manager Jeff Moorad and American-Iranian businessman Jahm Najafi, who is also a minority investor in the Phoenix Suns basketball team.
Najafi was the representative of the group visiting Goodison Park, but it was a particularly difficult afternoon for the Merseyside club as Moshiri’s executive friends chose not to join after safety advice.
MSP has a history of investing in sports, an impressive portfolio that shows why they are attractive to Moshiri.
Najafi is vice president of McLaren Racing, and German club FC Augsburg is among the clubs MSP has invested in.
The ongoing talks, first reported as ‘preliminary’ by Bloomberg, offer much-needed hope at the end of another turbulent week for the Merseyside club.
Moshiri continues his efforts to persuade former Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa to take up the vacant managerial post following Frank Lampard’s dismissal.
Bielsa has been reluctant to accept so far, but Moshiri wants to convince him that it is the long-term solution.
If that fails, further discussion is expected of other candidates, such as former Burnley manager Sean Dyche. Former Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl also has fans.
Everton will need to make a quick decision before the next coach can prepare his side to visit Arsenal next weekend.
Discussions about the sale of winger Anthony Gordon are also ongoing. He has missed practice for the past two days due to a £35m offer from Newcastle United. Everton are valuing Gordon at over £50m and are waiting to see if Chelsea will make a higher bid.